BankAmerica, stung by persistent market rumors that have driven its stock price sharply lower over the past three days, on Thursday urged U.S. and foreign regulators to investigate the source of the "false and malicious rumors."
Since the rumors of BankAmerica's impending collapse or sale to another bank began to circulate Tuesday morning, the bank's common stock price has lost about 15% of its value, falling to $10.50 from $12.25. Volume has been extremely heavy.
In New York Stock Exchange composite trading on Thursday, BankAmerica was the second most heavily traded issue, with 4.6 million shares changing hands, about eight times its normal daily volume. The price of a share was off 87.5 cents, closing at $10.50.
The selloff was sparked by rumors that swept through markets in the United States, Europe and Japan that BankAmerica was about to declare bankruptcy, that U.S. regulators were propping it up with loans from the Federal Reserve, and/or that a hasty merger with Citicorp or another U.S. bank was being arranged. The bank, federal regulators and stock analysts all dismissed the rumors as unfounded.